• Jonathan Bloom writes about why we waste food, why it matters and what we can do about it. This is his blog.

The Year of Butter?

It being 2012, we can safely say the holidays are in the rearview mirror (Right? I’m not forgetting anything, am I?). Given that, I thought it’d be fun to swap tales of holiday leftover usage from your kitchen or others.

Katy, aka The Non-Consumer Advocate, aka Coin Girl, shared this one via Facebook:

Last night I made scalloped potatoes which included the mashed potatoes from Christmas. Tonight I made fettucine alfredo with the last of the whipped cream from Christmas. It turns out that adding obscene amounts of butter to leftovers is the key to palatability.

No food waste in 2012, but much cardiovascular disease.

Kudos to Katy for sacrificing her family’s health to use up those leftovers. Kidding!

While adding boatloads of butter to leftovers is certainly one way to use up your food, there are plenty of other options. What’s the American version of bubble and squeak? Hash?

Anyone have a leftover tale or tip?

January 2, 2012 | Posted in Household, Life to Leftovers | Comments closed

Food Waste Primer

The NRDC recently put out this handy two-page summary on food waste. It provides a compact answer to how much we waste, what it costs and what we can do about it.

There’s a little about the environmental impact, but that’s not the main focus. I’m sure that was intentional, to shift the focus elsewhere.

The document is part of the food section of the NRDC’s Smarter Living initiative. From what I’ve seen, the entire section is worth a gander.

December 28, 2011 | Posted in General | Comments closed

T’was the Day After Christmas…

Christmas leftovers, anyone?

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December 26, 2011 | Posted in Household | Comments closed

Holiday Buffet

Tree gleaning and Chinese food on Christmas?! (And the movie comes afterward, right?) If only I lived in L.A…

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Wait, what?! A report out of LA says that 62% of students there don’t have enough time to eat all of their lunch? That can’t be good for food waste.

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Glad to hear that the city of Tacoma has given residents an early Christmas present–curbside composting, coming this spring.

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This article has it all: general green tips for the holidays, a discussion of
packaging waste vs food waste and minimizing holiday food waste.

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Similarly, here’s more on the topic of food packaging vs. food waste. Unfortunately, it can be one of the only times reducing food waste conflicts with another green cause.

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Token Hanukkah bit: I’ve been surprised by how seamlessly (If I do say so myself) I was able to sneak some leftover veggies into latkes. Just sayin…

Happy Holidays, folks!

December 23, 2011 | Posted in Food Recovery, Friday Buffet, Household, School | Comments closed

The Gift of Food Recovery

Lest you have any doubts on how utterly doable food recovery is…the below video will hopefully communicate that just a few people working together can make a huge dent in local hunger by rescuing and redistributing food. (Heck, one woman and a van can work wonders.)

December 21, 2011 | Posted in Food Recovery | Comments closed

Giving the Gift of Reduced Waste

With the holidays fast approaching, I wanted to pass on a few quick tips to help you minimize holiday food waste:

1. Don’t cook too much food. Thanksgiving celebrates abundance. As far as I know, none of the winter holidays do. Get a good guest count and try not to go overboard. After all, we can only eat so much goose.

2. Don’t serve too much. Let family and friends serve themselves so they can take as much or as little as they want. Beware the “good provider syndrome,”

3. Be proactive with leftovers. Share the love and leftovers–redistribute them to other guests.  And then repurpose what you have leftover. It helps to have an idea of other dishes you can create with leftovers (i.e. roast chicken to chicken soup).

Bonus: Eat some fruitcake–nobody else is going to!

December 19, 2011 | Posted in History and Culture, Household | Comments closed

Friday Buffet

It’s official: You can ignore those ‘best before’ dates on your eggs. (At least that’s the word in the UK.)

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This article on Bon Appetit Management food waste minimization at Penn is music to my ears.

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Wish you had a sleek kitchen compost container? Now UCan.

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Finally, it’s nice to see the big boys like Waste Management getting more and more interested in composting.

December 16, 2011 | Posted in Composting, Food Safety, Friday Buffet | Comments closed

Paying for Your Waste

Straight from Saudi Arabia…here’s a restaurant charging a fee for uneaten food…that goes to a Somalian charity. Hard to argue with that last part.

My second thought: I guess taking home leftovers isn’t big in Saudi Arabia. Also, showing the words “the greedy are punished” burning embers flicker on screen made me think the video was headed in another direction.

Any opinions?

December 14, 2011 | Posted in International, Restaurant | Comments closed

Corn for Kitties

I just learned about this kitty litter made from corn. And I am speechless.

Okay, deep breath.

Wow, this is a terrible idea! Talk about a waste of potential food, farm land, the ag inputs (natural resources) that go into growing our food. And a clear sign we are producing too much food.

Given the impact that conventional agriculture has on the planet, it makes little sense that so much of corn goes to feed animals and fuel cars. It makes less sense for it become fodder for cats’ target practice.

Sure, the kind of corn used as kitty litter isn’t fit for human consumption. But we’d be much better off, from a climate change and soil health perspective, not growing such an abundance of corn that it winds up being used for such trivial purposes.

Finally, has there ever been a better example as to why our current farm subsidies need reforming?

December 12, 2011 | Posted in Farm, Household | Comments closed

Friday Buffet

Whenever a publication as august as The Financial Times weighs in on dumpster diving, I always link to it (and try to match the paper’s salmon color).

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Donating prepared foods can be harder than you think, but it’s important! As is reducing the overall excess at holiday or other gatherings.

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If you’re gonna build a casino, getting a $2.5 million federal renewable energy grant to defray the cost of an on-site anaerobic digester is like hitting the jackpot. It’s a solid ideas, as there’s sure to be plenty of buffet food waste to convert to energy…

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Finally, congratulations to the National Hockey League’s Food Recovery Program. The NHL program, which diverted arena food that would have been thrown away into 163,000 meals last year, won the Sports for the Environment Award.

December 9, 2011 | Posted in Casino, Energy, Friday Buffet | Comments closed
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